‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3, Episode 2: Recap And Ending, Explained: Can Richmond Sign The Superstar Zava?


Football on the field finally begins in “Ted Lasso” season 3, as the new Premier League season kicks off for AFC Richmond against formidable London foes. Chelsea FC, being one of the newest deal acquisitions for “Ted Lasso,” hosts Richmond at Stamford Bridge, where Roy Kent was also once a hero. There is a new role for Trent Crimm, as we see him for the first time since he was fired from The Independent following his article on coach Lasso’s mental health worries. Along with all this, there are also the personal bonding elements, which are quite literally the staple of the show.

Spoilers Ahead

How Does The New Football Season Begin For AFC Richmond?

Episode 2 of “Ted Lasso” season 3 begins with two new revelations for Ted and his team in Richmond, the first being that Trent Crimm, who is very much an independent writer and journalist now, wants to closely follow Richmond’s season and write a book on it. Rebecca, Leslie, and Keeley are against giving Crimm such permission, primarily because they fear he might have a negative effect on the players’ morale, but they cannot say so to him directly to his face. Instead, Ted is asked to make the decision, and the head coach agrees to let Crimm work closely with the club and players to write a book at the end of the season. The other news is much more sensational for everyone around the club, as a superstar footballer named Zava has just handed in a transfer request at Juventus. Zava has also made it clear to the press that he wants to play in the Premier League and move to England, apparently because his wife wants to do so after watching the English version of “The Office.” With this announcement, all major Premier League clubs that can afford to pay Zava’s high wages have jumped into transfer talks. Although Rebecca at first wants to stay away from such talks, saying that they clearly cannot afford him, the mere mention of West Ham United leading the transfer race changes her opinion. Rebecca is still very much in competition with her ex-husband Rupert, the current owner of West Ham, and would therefore fight for Zava as well.

When Ted first hears of Zava, he has no idea about the player, but coach Beard soon gives him all the information he needs about the man. Zava is an exceptionally skilled player who has won tons of silverware at every club that he has gone to. However, the man has severe problems with ego and team morale, having played for fourteen teams in the last fifteen years of his career. These descriptions already provide a hint as to who Zava might be based on, and this is all the more confirmed, rather humorously, when the superstar player appears on the screen. When Richmond goes to Stamford Bridge to play their season opener, Zava comes to watch the match, especially because, till that point, he is rumored to be joining Chelsea at the end of the game. With a tall, athletic build, long hair tied into a man-bun, and a distinctly sharp long nose, Zava is definitely the “Ted Lasso” version of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The man, Zava, I mean, is arrogant and snotty enough to make a close acquaintance with Rupert Mannion, and then, when he is introduced to Rebecca, Zava says that Rebecca must be proud to have met him. It appears that Zava is even skilled enough to urinate with his hands at the back, holding his coat tail in place—something that Zlatan can be easily imagined to do. Although Rebecca is fazed by Rupert approaching the player and making a good connection with him, she finally loses her calm over Zava’s obnoxious behavior. Instead of trying to convince the player to join Richmond with sweet, pretentious words, Rebecca simply calls him out and yells at him when Zava stands in the washroom, relieving himself.

This does seem to work wonders, though, as is revealed after the match is over. Zava attends a press conference at Chelsea, where the team’s manager presents him with a contract and asks him to sign it. Only Zlatan, or perhaps Zava, can be as bizarrely arrogant as to appear in a team’s press conference and openly say that he no longer wants to join their club. Watching all this unfold on a television screen, Rebecca is sure that Zava will now go to West Ham, but the player quickly announces that he intends to join AFC Richmond. Celebrations break out in the pub at Richmond, as we get to see Mae, Baz, Jeremy, and Paul all back in the third season, and also at the away team dressing room at the Bridge. Even though most of the players are ecstatic about the new signing, Jamie Tart seems displeased, probably because Zava and Jamie are almost identical when it comes to choosing their big egos over the benefit of the team. Jamie had learned this the hard way and changed his playing style over the years, becoming a crucial mix of individual talent and team player. Even in the game against Chelsea, Jamie comes up with the tactic to score and assists the equalizing goal that draws the match, giving a solid start to the season for Richmond.

AFC Richmond’s visit to Stamford Bridge also stirs up old memories and emotions for Roy Kent, who was a successful captain at Chelsea for many long years, having even won the Champions League with the Blues. When Roy walks out of the tunnel, the home fans cheer loudly for him, making it feel like they have not forgotten their leader and hero. Roy acknowledges the cheers, too, for the first time as a retired player and assistant coach. At the end of the away trip, in a conversation with Ted and Trent Crimm, Roy admits that he sometimes wished that he had not left Chelsea when he first started to feel the signs of aging. He had not wanted to play out the whole cycle of going from being a star player to one kept on the bench and becoming a rotational player, but he also now thought of the possibility of staying at the club and enjoying his waning footballing days before retiring there. This is definitely a new side of Roy Kent that we see, one who comes forward and shares his feelings and emotions with people around him. Ultimately though, Roy also admits that he does not regret leaving Chelsea and is more than satisfied with his position and situation at AFC Richmond.

Episode 2 of “Ted Lasso” season 3 also has a nice side note on the direct effect that journalists and sports writers can have on players, especially when they are at a younger age. When Trent Crimm first walks into the dressing room at Nelson Road Stadium, he reveals his new role to the players and says that he will just want to ask questions and mostly observe them. However, when Roy Kent walks in and hears of this, he orders all the players to always stay silent whenever Crimm is around and never say a word to him. This is strictly followed by all the footballers since they obviously respect their ex-captain more than a journalist. But Roy has his reasons for such a feeling of animosity toward Crimm, as is revealed later on when Ted Lasso asks him to let Crimm into the dressing room’s inner circle. When Roy Kent made his debut in the Premier League as a seventeen-year-old, his nervousness about playing on such a grand stage affected his performance, as is quite natural. Trent Crimm, wanting to be an edgy reporter with views and opinions that stuck out, had written an article on this debut, calling Kent overrated and a player with no serious talent or potential. Even though Crimm had moved on from this article, becoming a popular figure later on in his career, Roy Kent never could. The man kept a cut-out of the article until today in his wallet, and it is only after confronting Crimm that he is able to tear it off and throw it away. But Trent Crimm also has moved on from such harsh criticisms, and he genuinely apologizes to Roy, not only mending his relationship with the man but also finally getting access to the players in the dressing room. 

How Do Things Fare In The Personal Relations Aspect Of Episode 2?

There are plenty of personal matters and character developments that take place or are set in motion in the second episode of “Ted Lasso” season 3. Keeley Jones is now the owner of her own PR company, but she is having a tough time dealing with her employees. The CFO at her company, Barbara, seems to be the one closest to Keeley at the moment, or at least the one who is talking to her the most, but it is evident that Barbara finds Keeley quite foolish and erratic. When the boss asks her about ways to cheer up the employees at the office, Barbara says that there is simply no way to do something like that. Later on, Keeley finds a new employee in a very old and close friend, Shandy, when the latter is modeling at one of Keeley’s shoots, and the two run into each other. Taking notice of her experience with the camera and lighting, Keeley instantly hires Shandy and invites her to the office. Barbara and Shandy are introduced to each other, but the CFO is definitely not excited to see another recruitment, and that too for a made-up position. Unable to control her anger or perhaps showing her true self, Barbara mocks Shandy and insults her before leaving the room. Keeley does not let her get away with this, though, and has a word in private with Barbara. It is now, at the CFO’s office, that Keeley finds a way to move closer to Barbara—Barbara has a habit of collecting snow globes from every new place that her firm sends her. Keeley takes notice of this and shows encouragement to Barbara as an individual, and the latter instantly helps Keeley out. This marks the change that Keeley is about to bring over in the workplace environment at her office, and Barbara has only been her first victim of sweet acceptance.

The news of Keeley and Roy’s breakup also becomes known to every other player and character at Richmond, all of whom react with grief at the matter. Despite the couple having been together for just a year, everyone saw positivity in them and genuinely wanted them to stay together. People are even more surprised at the fact that it was Roy and not Keeley who ended the relationship, and they keep asking Roy why he did so. The assistant coach even starts receiving letters and gifts from fans who feel he has been dumped by Keeley and therefore want to cheer the man up. Perhaps with all these questions and discussions, Roy is also bound to have doubts about his decision to split up with Keeley. On the other side, Rupert Mannion still seems like the evilest villain a comedy can have, as the man continues to be horrible in his behavior with Rebecca. When introducing her to Zava, the man calls Rebecca just his ex-wife, as if that identity is more fitting than her role as the owner of a Premier League club. Every word and sentence that Rupert comes up with is a direct insult to Rebecca, and he carefully ensures that this keeps happening every time. The decision taken by Zava to ditch Rupert and join Rebecca at Richmond is surely going to hurt her devilish ex-husband.

What Should We Expect From ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 3, Episode 3?

With the acquisition of a new player, that too someone as skilled and celebrated as Zava, AFC Richmond is bound to stay away from relegation battle. However, the fact that Zava has problems with his ego is also definitely going to pose a challenge for the players and staff at the club. How Zava, Jamie, and Roy all coexist at the club is going to be of great interest. After missing out on the superstar, Rupert Mannion and West Ham are sure to throw more obstacles at Rebecca and her club, but how the entire team handles this would be something to watch. On the other side, Keeley has seemingly started to win over her employees, and her workplace at the KJPR company can be expected to be as bright and accepting as AFC Richmond under Ted Lasso.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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